Legal networking – remember to follow-up

Here is an article about networking basics for attorneys.  Molly Perkins does a good job of outlining the various aspects of networking – going to lots of events, making a good first impression, act like a host at an event and the like.  I would add a few additional things:

1.  Have a realistic goal in mind at an event.  If you are shy, or an introvert or just don’t like the small talk that is the necessary lubricant (often along with alcohol) of mingling with people you don’t know, this can be useful.  Tell yourself that the event is a success if you hand out “X” number of your business cards.  Make it a realistic number so that you can leave the event feeling good about your success.

2. Get people talking about what they do for living and why they like it.  This will not only make you popular but if you start to hear complementary stories: like someone is a CPA who works with small business and someone else is an attorney that does the same thing, this gives you a chance to connect them at this event.  As they get excited about the possibility of mutual referrals, you can talk about how you might fit in with what they are doing, creating more business opportunities in the process.

3.  Follow-up: always make the follow-up as specific as possible.  Both in terms of what you talked about with the people you connected with but also about the value you offer the person with whom you are connecting.  If you have an active LinkedIn profile with lots of contacts,  blog posts and other  shared information follow-up through a LinkedIn introduction.  Not only is it easy to keep the person’s information current through LinkedIn but they will get updates about you on a weekly basis without you having to do anything.

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